Genre: Classical
Label: Esoteric


Herbert von Karajan & Maria Callas 4 Great Operas Hybrid Stereo Japanese Import 9SACD Box Set

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Featuring ESOTERIC’s Proprietary Re-Mastering Process to Achieve the Highest Level of Sound Quality! Japanese Pressing, Deluxe Digi-pak Packaging, THE definitive Classical Performance on SACD!

A Classical masterpiece collection! The Maestro Herbert von Karajan featuring the famous opera diva Maria Callas in a Classical SACD Box Set in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Esoteric! Superb Sound!

Discs 1 & 2 represent Strauss' Salome performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan and features a first-class ensemble including Hildegard Behrens, Jose van Dam, Agnes Baltsa, and Karl-Walter Bohm.

Discs 3-5 contains Verdi's Aida as recorded in 1979 by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan. Soloists include Mirella Freni, Jose Carreras, Agnes Baltsa and more.

Bizet's Carmen is found on discs 6 & 7 with soprano Maria Callas accompanied by Orchestre du Théâtre National de L'opéra conducted by Georges Prêtre.

The final two discs in this 9-SACD box set contain Puccini's Tosca, again with soprano Maria Callas performing but this time alongside L'Orchestre la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire conducted by Georges Prêtre.

"Herbert von Karajan's 1978 recording of Strauss' Salome was controversial when it was released...a first-class ensemble featuring some of the best singers of the time in roles well suited for them, including Hildegard Behrens as Salome, José van Dam as Jochanaan, Agnes Baltsa as Herodias, and Karl-Walter Böhm as Herodes...the Wiener Philharmoniker, widely regarded in German-speaking countries as the finest opera orchestra in the world... wildly controversial was the conductor, who seemed more than willing to impose himself on the work. This is not to say that Karajan did not elicit tremendously effective performances from his forces both on-stage and in the pit. The singers deliver hair-raising interpretations of their parts that plumb the depths of their character's sick and twisted psyches, while the orchestra provides them with soul-searing accompaniments that place their characters inside a sound world of utmost sensuality and fatal decadence. All this, of course, is right and proper -- if anything about this opera could be called "right and proper" -- since Salome is correctly regarded as one of the most extreme of all fin de siècle operas. What was and still is controversial about Karajan's interpretation, however, is that he makes all this seem overwhelmingly beautiful and irresistibly seductive. When approaching the zenith of his worship of the sheer sensual beauty of sound, Karajan apparently felt the uncontrollable urge to make Salome sound as beautiful as La bohème, and the result is, in the truest sense of the word, deeply perverted." - James Leonard,

"Maria Callas never sang Carmen on-stage, but the role seems custom-made for her strengths -- Carmen is fiery, volatile, infuriating, seductive -- and Callas is such a superb singing actress that she conveys the character's complexity with rare effectiveness. The critical acclaim and public affection for Callas' Carmen put it very high on any list of preferred versions of the opera. She has a terrific supporting cast, including Nicolai Gedda who is in excellent voice and who makes a believable, tragic Don José, a performance that has been deemed among the finest of his career. Andréa Guiot is a sweet Micaëla, and the rest of the cast is strong. Georges Prêtre leads l'Orchestre du Théâtre Nationale de l'Opéra and the Choeurs René Duclos in an exciting, idiomatic reading of the opera. EMI's sound is clean and present." - Stephen Eddins,

A Classical masterpiece collection!
The reissue of classical music masterpieces by ESOTERIC has attracted a lot of attention, both for its uncompromising commitment to recreating the original master sound, and for using hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) technology to improve sound quality. This series marks the first hybrid SACD release of historical recording selections that have been mainstays of the catalog since their initial release.

These new audio versions feature ESOTERIC’s proprietary re-mastering process to achieve the highest level of sound quality.

ESOTERIC equipment used for re-mastering:
The criterion of re-mastering is to faithfully capture the quality of the original master. ESOTERIC’s flag ship D/A converters, model D-01VU, Rubidium master clock generator model G-0Rb and ESOTERIC MEXCEL interconnect cables and power cords, were all used for this re-mastering session. This combination of highly advanced technology greatly contributed to capturing the high quality sound of the original master.

Experience by yourself...
Experience the legendary performance in this new Super Audio CD/CD format. Not only for new followers, but also for well experienced followers of these recorded materials. All will be equally impressed by the “soul” hidden within the notes, but never before found in previously released recordings in any format.

• Super Audio CD
• SACD Stereo SACD Layer
• This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
• Made in Japan
• Box set / Deluxe Digipak packaging
• Limited to 1500 copies

Discs 1 & 2: (Sung in German)
Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Hildegard Behrens, soprano
Karl-Walter Bohm, tenor
Agnes Baltsa, mezzo soprano
Jose Van Dam, baritone
Wieslaw Ochman, tenor
Helja Angervo, alto
Heinz Zednik, tenor
David Knutson, tenor
Martin Vantin, tenor
Gerhard Unger, tenor
Erich Kunz, baritone
Jules Bastin, bass
Dieter Ellenbeck, tenor
Gerd Nienstedt, bass
Kurt Rydl, bass
Helge von Bomches, bass
Horst Nitsche, tenor

Discs 3, 4 & 5: (Sung in Italian)
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Walter Hagen-Groll, chorus master
Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Mirella Freni, soprano
Jose Carreras, tenor
Agnes Baltsa, mezzo soprano
Piero Cappuccilli, baritone
Ruggero Raimondi, bass
Jose Van Dam, bass
Katia Ricciarelli, soprano
Thomas Moser, tenor

Discs 6 & 7: (Sung in French)
Choeurs Rene Duclos
Jean Laforge, chorus master
Orchestre du Theatre National de L'opera
Georges Pretre, conductor
Maria Callas, soprano
Nicolai Gedda, tenor
Robert Massard, baritone
Andrea Guiot, soprano
Nadine Sautereau, soprano
Jane Berbie, mezzo soprano
Jean-Paul Vauquelin, tenor
Jaques Pruvost, tenor
Maurice Maievsky, tenor
Jaques Mars, bass
Claude Cales, baritone

Discs 8 & 9: (Sung in Italian)
Choreurs du Theatre Natinonal de L'Opela
Jean Laforge, chorus master
Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire
Georges Pretre, conductor
Maria Callas, soprano
Carlo Bergonzi, tenor
Tito Gobbi, baritone
Leonardo Monreale, bass
Giorgio Tadeo, bass
Renato Ercolani, bass
Ugo Trama, bass
Leonardo Monreale, bass
David Sellar, soprano

ESSE 90072/73
Discs 1 & 2:
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Salome (Libretto: Hedwig Lachmann after Oscar Wilde)

Recorded 9-11, 13, 16-18 May 1977 & 2 May 1978, Sophiensaal, Vienna

ESSE 90074/75 & ESSE 90076
Discs 3, 4 & 5:
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
Recorded 7-10, 14-17 May 1979 Musikvereinssaal, Vienna

ESSE 90077/78
Discs 6 & 7:
Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
Carmen (Meilhac & Halevy)
Recorded July, 1964, Salle Wagram, Paris

ESSE 90079/80
Discs 8 & 9:
Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Recorded December 1964 & January 1965, Salle Wagram, Paris

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